Rabbi Jacob Immanuel Schochet, who sits on Chabad's board of rabbis and is a senior leader within the movement, speaks about messianism, heresy and Modern Orthodoxy. For all you YU people who think Chabad is your friend, read on:
Kedma: Do you see Messianism as a
dangerous force in Chabad and do you
speak out against it?
Schochet: I definitely always did, and
continue to speak out against it.
Kedma: So then doesn’t it scare you that
even 50 percent of the teachers teaching
young children are Messianist?
Schochet: Not really, because many
so-called Messianists have left that
fold. As they grow older, they grow
wiser. So number one—they drop
it. Secondly, even those who remain
Messianists, you have many different
groups among them. You have those
who simply believe—yes, the Rebbe
will be Moshiach, which I would
call a stupid belief. It is stupidity but
essentially harmless. Then you have the
real extreme fringe elements who, for
example, would deny that the Rebbe
died or would insert certain claims that
I would call heretical ideas—and with
regards to them I am in agreement with
Berger. These, however, are a very very
very very minute, fringe element of
the fringes of the fringes. It is a terrible
situation, it certainly gives a bad name
to Chabad, to Lubavitch and most
of all to the Rebbe, but I don’t see
that as a real danger for Judasim any
more than I see danger in any other
heretical ideas that you can find in the
various so-called ‘denominations’ of
the Jewish community, including the
so-called Modern Orthodox.
This excerpt is from an interview done with Rabbi Schochet and paired with an interview done with Rabbi David Berger. Download the pdf by clicking here.
[Hat tip: Mentalblog.]